Canada’s Entrepreneurs Say Not Getting Paid On Time Hinders Growth

Getting paid on time is a major problem for Canadian entrepreneurs. According to a survey conducted by Environics Research for Interac Corp., seven in ten (71%) Canadian side hustlers and micro-businesses (businesses with up to five employees) struggle to get paid on time, and spend valuable time chasing late payments. More than half of respondents (58%) say following up to get paid is a drain on their time and productivity – and a quarter (25%) are not spending enough time growing their business as a result.

“If Canada’s entrepreneurs can’t get paid on time, it hurts their bottom line and ability to scale,” says Peter Maoloni, VP Product & Platform Development, Interac Corp. “Side hustlers and micro-businesses need ways to get paid faster – beyond the traditional cheque or multiple email reminders – that allows them to spend less time following up with clients, keeps them out of personal debt and spend more time growing their business. ”

58% of entrepreneurs polled confessed to dipping into money from their personal accounts to fund their venture when necessary.

For side hustlers and micro-businesses, late payments can have a significant impact on cash flow, even hindering their ability to make payroll and pay vendors. In order to keep their business in good standing, 58 percent of entrepreneurs polled confessed to dipping into money from their personal accounts to fund their venture when necessary. Furthermore, one-third (33%) have taken on $10,000 or more in debt to fund their business or side hustle, with 14 percent taking on $50,000 or more.

In the face of this cash flow conundrum, 66 percent say there is a need for the business payments landscape to be modernized. Two-thirds (66%) of businesses wish they could get paid by their clients as quickly and conveniently as their friends reimburse them for dinner. Overall, their preferred payment method for their business is online money transfer (73%).

“The data highlights that Canadian entrepreneurs are impatient with the status quo when it comes to business payments – the cheque has got to go,” said Maoloni. “Interac e-Transfer features like Request Money are being used by micro-businesses to ask their clients to pay up, professionally and politely, and get paid instantly.”


Stats at a Glance
  • Seven in ten (71%) Canadian side hustlers and micro-businesses spend valuable time chasing late payments.
  • Twenty-eight percent wait one month or more for a payment to come through after an invoice has been sent.
  • One-quarter (25%) report spending too much time chasing payments and not enough time growing their business, resulting in a drain on their time and productivity (58%).
  • More than half (58%) are left using money from their own bank account for business expenses.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) say that online money transfer is their preferred method of payment over cheques and cash for their business.
For entrepreneurs looking to grow their business and better manage their cash flow, Maoloni offers the following ways Interac products and services can help your business:

1. Incorporate Interac e-Transfer® into your business operations. Simplifying and streamlining business payments will ultimately save your business time and money. While Interac e-Transfer was originally developed as a person-to-person network, recent new features like Autodeposit and Request Money opened new ways for micro-businesses and side hustlers to use the service. Additionally, Interac e-Transfer Bulk Disbursement allows businesses to send bulk payments in a streamlined, secure and cost-efficient way in a single file upload from online or mobile banking.

2. Provide a smooth payment experience for customers. Satisfied customers are repeat customers. With Interac e-Transfer Request Money, your client doesn’t need to enter the amount of the payment, that’s already done for them. And they can fulfill the payment immediately from their phone, depositing the money directly into your bank account.

3. Adopt smart savings and cash flow strategies. The survey found that 54 percent of entrepreneurs carry personal debt to fund their business. While it can be tempting, this is not a long-term solution to keep your business afloat. Features like Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit and Request Money are based on a good funds model and can inject money back into your business almost instantly to help you better manage your cash flow in order to grow your business.

4. Leverage government assistance and services. Federal and provincial governments offer many types of assistance for entrepreneurs. A good place to start is the federal government’s website An Overview of Services for Small Business. The site features advice and information for entrepreneurs on financing, growth planning, business essentials, tech and digital strategies, and other topics. The federal website has an interactive program that lets entrepreneurs see what funding programs or government grants may be available federally and provincially to support their businesses.


About the Survey

Interac Corp. commissioned Environics Research to conduct a national online survey of 802 Canadians aged 18 years and older. Responses were collected between March 6 and 26, 2019. In order to qualify for this survey, respondents had to identify themselves as self-employed, non-subcontracted side hustlers or micro-business owners (five or fewer employees).

Learn more about Interac Corp.


Find out how Environics can help your organization

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